Embracing Generative AI: The Future Isn’t Written, It’s Generated!

Embracing Generative AI: The Future Isn’t Written, It’s Generated!

The February 2024 Tech Talk was presented by Chandika Mendis

Abstract

The printing press birthed the Renaissance. The steam engine sparked the Industrial Age. Now, Generative AI stands poised to be the Gutenberg of our time. This revolutionary tech isn’t just tools – it’s a productivity paradigm shift, impacting the industries and use-cases we least expected to be impacted through Artificial Intelligence: those use-cases we thought epitomized human intelligence and creativity. This paradigm shift opens up amazing new opportunities while also exposing us to new kinds of risks.

This talk attempts to explore the impact of Generative AI on our future and how we can embrace it:

  • Introduction to generative AI and its impact across industries
  • Practical applications and real-world examples
  • Common challenges and approach to adoption
  • Understand the risks and new threats this technology opens up

Now is our chance to embrace this new technology or be swept away by its tide.

About the Presenter 

Chandika Mendis is a senior technology leader who plays the roles of CTO, board advisor, and angel investor for a number of tech startups. Prior to his current roles, he was the EVP and Global Head of Engineering for Virtusa. He lead the innovation teams that created award-winning IP that were a key part of Virtusa’s strategic competitive advantage. Chandika’s technology contributions were instrumental in driving Virtusa’s growth, from 300 when he joined in 2003, to 45,000 when he left in 2023 to pursue his passion helping early-stage startups. The teams under his purview won the Stevie Award for the best IT Team, the Gold Stevie for the most Innovative Technology Company, as well as the Best Product award in multiple categories. Chandika was also responsible for setting up the processes and systems to scale engineering governance activities, as well as mentoring senior technologists at Virtusa. Since leaving Virtusa, Chandika has been involved with startups leveraging innovative technologies including Generative AI, Industrial Metaverse and Cybersecurity.

From Sprints to Marathons – Sustaining Speed to Value

From Sprints to Marathons – Sustaining Speed to Value

The October 2023 tech talk was presented by David VanEpps

Abstract

Technology leaders know the pressure to deliver high-value projects with speed. When projects turn to portfolios, the game changes. The rules of speed-to-value still apply, but now there are different dimensions required to make that speed sustainable over the long haul. Delivering sustained speed-to-value isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon, and much like running a marathon, there are some clear guidelines that can be followed. 

Specifically, we’ll address the need for setting the right pace, managing a different set of metrics, balancing the needs of competing forces, managing enterprise expectations, and future-proofing the organization.

About the Presenter 

David VanEpps

David VanEpps is the VP of Engineering at Ursa Space Systems, where he brings a passion for software engineering excellence and exceptional leadership. Prior to his role at Ursa, he served as Senior Director of Delivery for Acxiom, a global marketing technology company, where he rapidly scaled technology teams while improving both client and associate delight. He has held numerous technology leadership roles at high-tech companies such as OnStar and Vynamic. David has consistently led technology organizations to deliver solutions that exceed expectations while delighting clients, associates, and shareholders. His cross-industry experience and principles of execution have enabled teams to drive exceptional speed-to-value and quality.

David graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a bachelors in Computer Science and a masters in Software Development and Management. He resides in Harrison Township, Michigan, with his wife, Charlotte. Outside of work, he actively volunteers and serves on several non-profits, and he enjoys running, cycling, writing, and speaking in his spare time.

Software Excellence through the Agile High Velocity Development℠ Process

Software Excellence through the Agile High Velocity Development℠ Process

Abstract

The Advanced Information Services Division of Ishpi Information Technologies, Inc. (DBA ISHPI) performs all aspects of the software development lifecycle using its High Velocity Development℠ (HVD) process. We have studied many methods and frameworks (including Personal Software Process, Team Software Process, CMMI for Development, Scrum, Kanban, CMMI for Services, ISO 9001 (Quality Management), ISO 20000-1 (Information Technology Service Management), ISO 27001 (Information Security Management Systems), Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, and more), adapted them, combined them, and made them our own. The result is an innovative, cohesive process that works for us—our agile HVD process. We have shown that diverse inputs need not be contradictory choices, but instead complementary building blocks. By evolving, implementing, and utilizing the HVD practices, AIS Division teams have achieved significant improvement in productivity and performance. ISHPI’s customers have benefited from shorter schedules, lower costs for development due to minimal rework costs, lower costs for maintenance, and an overall positive experience during each project.

About the Presenter 

Stephen Shook, ISHPI’s Vice President of Software Engineering & Quality, brings more than 25 years of experience in senior management, business development, development management, project management, software engineering, and implementing Capability Maturity Model® Integration (CMMI®). He is one of the principal architects of ISHPI’s award-winning Agile High Velocity Development℠ software development methodology, which is appraised at CMMI Development Maturity Level 5. As an experienced instructor, coach, consultant, and subject matter expert, he leads and mentors software teams to achieve exceptional cost, schedule, and quality performance in order to achieve customer business goals. Stephen has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Illinois.

Barti Perini, ISHPI’s Vice President of Software Process Improvement, brings over 25 years of experience in software engineering, software development process improvement, project management, and Capability Maturity Model® Integration (CMMI®) and ISO implementation. She leads ISHPI’s Software Engineering Process group, Configuration Management group, and the Quality Assurance group, working with senior management, software development managers, project managers, and engineers to initiate, define, track, evaluate, and implement new methods and technologies to continuously optimize the software engineering capability of the organization (currently appraised at CMMI Development Maturity Level (ML) 5 and CMMI Services ML 3). Barti holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute. Barti has a Master of Science in Computer Science from Northern Illinois University, a Master of Technology in Industrial Electronics from Mysore University, India and a Bachelor of Engineering in Power Electronics from Nagpur University, India.

Personal Reviews: How Fencing Helped Me Write Better Software

Personal Reviews: How Fencing Helped Me Write Better Software

The May 2023 tech talk was presented by Dr. Bradley Hodgins

Abstract

NAVAIR has hundreds of engineers/professionals using Team Software Process (TSP) and Team Process Integration (TPI) methodologies to plan and track their projects. One especially valuable activity in TSP/TPI is the “Personal Review,” where an individual looks for mistakes in a product they have just produced (e.g., design document, source code, engineering drawing) before continuing on with their development process. Personal reviews are effective in any domain where mistakes come with a high cost – like in fencing. This presentation explains how to perform personal reviews, and outlines other activities an individual must do before they can execute an effective personal review, such as logging defects and creating a review checklist. We will also discuss fencing.

About the Presenter 

Dr. Bradley Hodgins

Brad Hodgins is a computer scientist and has been supporting Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) for 36 years. He has over 20 years of experience in developing simulation and avionics software. He has spent the last 16 years as a project planning and tracking coach and instructor for the Performance Resource Team (PRT), actively coaching project teams in the development of high-quality products for on-time, on-budget delivery to the fleet.

Brad has expertise and a national reputation in process improvement. During his time with the PRT, Brad gave over two dozen presentations at symposiums and conferences, and authored/co-authored half a dozen published articles and papers, all sharing the great things NAVAIR has been doing. Brad was given a Navy patent in 2008 for the Learning Applying Mastering Perfecting (LAMP) model for team process implementation evaluation and improvement. He was awarded the Michelson Laboratory Award in 2010, and he became a NAVAIR Associate Fellow in 2013. Brad earned a Doctorate in Computer Science from Colorado Technical University in 2015. He retired from government service in 2019, but continues to support NAVAIR as an employee of Saalex Solutions Inc.

Brad is a Taurus and likes surfing (just kidding about the surfing).

The 5 Keys to Crushing Technical Debt and Reclaiming the Joy in Engineering

The 5 Keys to Crushing Technical Debt and Reclaiming the Joy in Engineering

The March 2023 tech talk was presented by Alan Willett and Julia Mullaney

Abstract

Are you feeling weighed down by technical debt? Are you tired of constantly putting out fires and struggling to keep your systems running smoothly? It’s time to reclaim the joy in engineering! In this talk, we will explore the five key strategies for crushing technical debt and bringing back the enjoyment to your work. We’ll also delve into the seven types of technical debt, including gordian knots, trap doors, barnacle ware, and more, and show you how to identify and tackle each one. Join us and learn how to eliminate technical debt and rediscover the satisfaction of building high-quality systems.

About the Presenters

Alan Willett is a globe-trotting Principal helping organizations to improve the speed and power of their engines of development. Alan is the award-winning author of Lead with Speed and Leading the Unleadable.

Alan Willett was the youngest of six kids on a dairy farm in Hunt, NY, which was (and still is) about a 30-minute drive to any stoplight. In Alan’s opinion, a stop sign would be okay in that town. The stoplight is a bit of high-tech overkill. The dairy farm has been in the family for almost 200 years. In Alan’s teenage years, the farm won Dairy Farm of the Year multiple times, while other farms failed. Alan learned how to be lucky by using data, technology, hard work, and logical decision-making.

After the farm, Alan went to Rochester Institute of Technology. There, he ran track and cross-country. He actually did run across the country with his team. The team was in the Guinness Book of World Records for running a relay from ocean to ocean in record time. While at college, as a side hobby to his athletics, he received a degree in computer science, which later became a Master’s degree.

When Alan started working in the high-tech world of high-pressure product development, he found that most of the projects used data much less than they did on the farm. On his projects, he put into place the use of data and logical decision-making. His travels eventually took him to work at the world-renowned Software Engineering Institute, the think tank of the world on high-tech development work. There, he was able to work with many of the geniuses that have pushed the state of the art. He worked with and was good friends with the late Watts Humphrey.

Julia Mullaney has been involved with software excellence since starting her career at IBM in 1988. At IBM, she was instrumental in process improvement efforts, having a major role in defining and implementing defect prevention, for which she won the IBM Quality Award.

At the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), Julia was a key contributor to the Personal Software Process℠ (PSP℠) and Team Software Process℠ (TSP℠) through the development of training, certification, licensing, and applied research at leading software organizations. She was fortunate to take the first PSP class from her mentor, Watts Humphrey. Julia is currently the chair for the IEEE CS/SEI Watts Humphrey Quality Award and also sits on the IEEE CS Awards Committee.  

Julia’s passion is software excellence, and she has been channeling that passion into growing the Software Excellence Alliance (SEA) as the SEA Executive Committee Leader and as a member of SEA Website & Social Media working group. She previously chaired the Working Group Training working group.